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High water forces more than 230 Manitobans to flee homes

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Province of Manitoba

Photos taken at embankment near Birdtail Creek on the morning of April 28

More than 230 Manitobans have been evacuated from their homes due to flooding or the threat of flooding.

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) says that 131 people have been evacuated from Peguis First Nation in the Interlake.

In western Manitoba, the flood threat along Birdtail Creek has led to 64 people — including residents of a 10-suite seniors home — being evacuated from Waywayseecappo First Nation. And, 39 residents from 19 homes have been relocated from the town of Birtle.

Birdtail Creek remains a prime focus for provincial officials due to a frozen culvert more than two metres in diameter that is causing water to build up against a former railway embankment near Highway 45.

Water appears to be seeping through the embankment and provincials said it could fail at any time, threatening area residents. Flows will depend on the size and nature of the breach.

"It is a dangerous situation," Doug McNeil, the province’s deputy minister of infrastructure and transportation, said at a flood briefing Monday.

The Town of Birtle has protected homes and critical infrastructure with earthen dikes and flood tubes provided by the province.

Meanwhile, the Fisher River topped its banks in Peguis this past weekend. Water levels have crested in the community and are now receding. AANDC has yet to complete a damage assessment.

History

Updated on Monday, April 28, 2014 at 5:04 PM CDT: Tweaks headline.

5:10 PM: corrects number in headline

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